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Care providers team up to establish ‘Aged Care Guild’

Nine of Australia’s largest aged care facilities have joined forces to establish the Aged Care Guild, a new representative body aimed at advocating industry policy for what the new entity’s chief says is future sustainability of the sector.

The group’s members are Allity, Arcare Aged Care, Blue Cross, Bupa Aged Care, Estia Health, Japara Healthcare, McKenzie Aged Care, Opal Aged Care and Regis Healthcare. Between them, the organisations provide around 34,000 residential aged care beds, and claim to provide care for around 18% of Australia’s elderly residential care population.

Inaugural chief executive officer Cameron O’Reilly said the body’s formation was a recognition of the importance of investment in the aged care sector, to meet both the challenges and opportunities that an aging population presents.

“Political and policy decisions have a huge impact on investment in the sector and a bipartisan consensus on aged care is essential if we are to meet the needs and expectations of older Australians in the future,” he said.

“In the short term there needs to be better understanding among policy makers and wider stakeholders about where the sector is currently, in terms of structure and gaps in provision, and where it needs to get to in the future.

“That is a real priority for the Guild in the short term – with this in mind, we were very pleased with the recent announcement that aged care has been moved into the Health Minister’s portfolio. It is absolutely right that aged care should be a Cabinet level issue for government.”

Labor shadow minister for ageing Shayne Neumann welcomed the formation of the guild, saying he looked forward to working with the new body – along with other industry peak groups – “to address the aged care workforce crisis”.

“Labor recognises that the workforce is essential to meeting the increasing demands of an ageing population and safeguarding the sustainability and quality of our aged care,” he said.

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